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January 1983

Melanosis ColiChanges in Appearance When Associated With Colonic Neoplasia

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Morgenstern, Shemen, and Michel and Ms Amodeo) and Pathology (Dr Allen), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(1):62-64. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390010048011

• In 30 cases of colonic neoplasia associated with melanosis coli, proliferating or neoplastic colonic epithelium was notable within the melanotic colons by virtue of a striking absence of pigmentation. Microscopically this characteristic was found to be due to an absence or diminution of pigment-laden macrophages in the lamina propria underlying such lesions. Therefore, the absence of pigment-laden macrophages can be considered a marker for abnormally proliferating epithelium. This characteristic may denote a cellular or humoral change mediated by macrophages in association with neoplastic epithelium.

(Arch Surg 1983;118:62-64)